CATL will provide technology and service support for the production of the LFP battery plant, while Ford will be responsible for cell and vehicle integration.
(Image credit: Ford)
US auto giant Ford (NYSE: F) will build a multi-billion-dollar power battery plant in Michigan that will use technology and services provided by a Chinese company.
Ford is investing $3.5 billion to build a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery plant in Marshall, Michigan, it announced Monday.
The plant, which is wholly owned by Ford, is the first battery plant in the US to be wholly owned by an automaker and will introduce LFP battery solutions for Ford's electric vehicle (EV) products.
The LFP battery plant is expected to enter production in 2026 with an initial workforce of 2,500.
The plant will have an initial design capacity of about 35 GWh per year, providing battery packs for about 400,000 Ford EVs per year, it said, adding that it will also consider expanding the plant's capacity in the future.
Ford has pledged to invest more than $50 billion in EVs by 2026.
As part of the plan, Ford and its battery technology partners have invested more than $17.6 billion in EV and battery production in the US since 2019, it said.
Ford is working to reach its goal of 600,000 global EV production capacity by the end of this year and 2 million EVs per year by 2026.
The introduction of LFP battery technology will help the Ford Model e business unit achieve an adjusted EBIT margin of 8 percent in 2026 by providing consumers with more choices, it said.
Before that LFP battery plant goes into full production, Ford will offer LFP battery pack options for Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning for the North American market this year and in 2024, respectively, it said.
Notably, the company will use technology supplied by Chinese power battery giant CATL.
Ford has a new agreement with CATL, which will provide technical and service support for the production of the LFP battery plant, and Ford engineers will work on cell and vehicle integration, it said.
The partnership with CATL will help Ford further increase battery capacity and introduce new battery technologies, Ford said, adding that it has previously partnered with LG New Energy and SK On on power batteries.
CATL is the world's largest power battery manufacturer, with 191.6 GWh of batteries installed in 2022 and a market share of 37.0 percent, according to a February 8 report by South Korean market research firm SNE Research.
LG Energy Solution had an installed base of 70.4 GWh of power batteries in 2022, ranking second in the world with a 13.6 percent market share.
SK On had an installed base of 27.8 GWh in 2022, taking fifth place with a 5.4 percent market share.